Jariyah’s Soto Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Soup)
This is ultimate comfort food. Jariyah cooked this for us every week for 6 years when we lived in Indonesia and eventually I was allowed to watch and take notes. It is divine and loved by the whole family. An entire meal in a bowl with flavours popping from every spoonful – fabulous. Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients. Stop in at an Asian grocery store (such as The Tofu Shop in Newmarket) and you can find everything. Many of the stepa can be done in advance and then all you need to do is ladle in the stock to serve!
- 3-4 Chicken Breasts (enough for 6 people)
- 6 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dried)
- 6 Bay Leaves
- Chunk of Galangal – sliced (can be found in freezer at the Fruit and Veg shop in the Asian Tunnel in Newmarket)
- Chunk of Ginger
- Chunk of Turmeric (not so easy to find so you can add powder or live without it!)
- 4 cloves of Garlic
- 8 Candlenuts (come in dried food section – also known as Kemeri)
- 3 sticks of Lemongrass
- 10 Coriander Seeds
- Shake of White Pepper
- 1 packet of rice vermicelli
- 2 potatoes
- 3 Shallots (or purchase a packet of pre fried shallots to make this easier)
- handful of celery leaves
- 3 spring onions – thinly sliced
- 1 packet of beansprouts
- 3 tomatoes – chopped
- Optional Extras
- Hard Boiled Eggs and Sliced Cabbage
- -Boil enough water to just cover the chicken breasts and add the chicken, lime leaves, bay leaves and sliced galangal.
- -Return to the boil, lower to simmer and cover to cook for 20 minutes.
- -Using a pestle and mortar or a stick grinder, grind together the following to form a paste: ginger, turmeric, garlic, candlenuts, coriander seeds and pepper.
- -Fry the paste in a little oil along with the whole lemon grass sticks. You will start to smell the gorgeous aroma. Once it has permeated the kitchen you can add this paste into your stock whilst the chicken is still cooking.
- -Thinly slice the potatoes (with a mandolin if you can) and fry them in hot oil in the wok until golden. You can fry the sliced shallots also if you are doing them from scratch.
- -After the chicken is cooked through, remove it, cool and shred the meat with your fingers.
- -Remove the leaves and chunks of galangal and lemon grass from the stock and discard.
- -Add the chopped spring onion and some fried shallots into the stock. Keep warm.
- -Blanch the vermicelli and bean sprouts in boiling water for around 2 minutes. Remove and place into the soup bowls
- Mound the chopped tomato, more fried onions, shredded chicken, celery leaves and potato chips into the bowls. When ready you can ladle in the stock to serve.
- You can add lime, chilli sambal, soy sauce or Ketchup Manis (Sweet Soy) as you wish.
- My children always add the ketchup manis!!!
- You can also serve with a large bowl of Indonesian Shrimp Crackers (fry in oil to puff up!)
If you want to you can cook the chicken and stock in advance. Keep them separately in the fridge overnight. The other bits and bobs can also be prepared and kept in airtight containers as you wish!